Thursday Things

Here are this week’s Thursday Things:

1. I was getting my hair done last week and I asked my stylist what flat iron she uses and she showed it to me. They sell it at the salon for $145 plus tax.

I went online with my iPhone, googled it, and up came this deal from Overstock: $67.99, no tax, free shipping. Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Variable Temperature.

I now realize it’s sold on Amazon for a similar price and wasn’t necessarily a “hot deal” on Overstock. Either way, it was still less than half the price had I bought it in the salon. Pays to do a quick google on things like that, always.

MY OTHER RECIPES

2. I plopped that sucker into my virtual shopping cart faster than you can say 450 degrees. My other flat iron was nearing it’s last leg. I bought it in 2004 and it gave me 8 great years but I needed a new one.

After just a few days, I am loving the new flat iron. My hair doesn’t get snagged in the plates and they’re five-inches long so I can fit a big section of hair in at one time.

The faster I can flat iron and be done, the better. I don’t go tiny section by tiny section and make it look perfect; I literally do maybe ten huge sections, ten passes, two minutes max, and I’m done.  Good enough.  Just something to tame the frizz, and make my half wavy, half straight, part kinky, part frizzy, definitely confused follicles all get on the same smooth, flat, page.

3. Cupcake Icing Kit – 5 hand-selected jumbo tips and re-usable pastry bag for $19.50. Great value.

Now, if only I could get past my mental issue of wasting tons of glorious frosting as it sticks to the sides of the pastry bag and not having the patience to clean pastry bags. But this set is cute enough that I think I could be swayed.

4. It seems Betty Crocker may be trying to get in Christina Tosi’s league by adding beer and pretzels to cookies. Yes, good old Betty is putting brewskies into cookies.

Betty Crocker (General Mills) is a Minnesota-based company and I grew up in Minnesota and will always have a soft spot for Minnesotans. And Betty Crocker and cookies of all types.

5.  I wonder if beer would work with potato chips, Cap’n Crunch, butterscotch and chocolate chips in Compost Cookies. Actually that may be a little bit too much composting for even me.

6. Remember when I started canning? Well, you may not, but I sure do. Boiling water, time, energy, lots of research, pectin, and hot pepper fumes wafting into my sinuses, I figured it out.

Enter Hot Pepper Jelly

Then I found Stovetop Hot Pepper Jelly and no true canning is required.  Stovetop.

7. Well it seems that Sue from The View From The Great Island has a French friend, Elisa, who grew up making jams and jellies from the fruit of her family’s orchards, which dates back to the 1500s. Her family has been at this awhile.

From Sue’s site: “According to Elisa, for the most basic of all jams you technically need only 4 things: fruit, sugar, clean jars, and a scale.  The scale is essential because you need equal amounts, by weight, of the fruit and sugar.  There are lots of variations and subtle changes you can make, including using special sugars with added pectin, and different combinations of fruit and flavorings…”

And from Elisa: “I’ve never heard of anyone, either in Belgium or in France, boiling the jars after filling them. Sometimes they do it before filling them – but just as a way of cleaning them well. But most people nowadays just put them in the dishwasher. To make sure, I checked more than a dozen websites on jam making in French, and none of them mentioned boiling the jars. However, they all said to turn the jars upside down when the jam is cooling down. This creates a vacuum that allows for the conservation of the jam and prevents contamination from bacteria or molds. You know, like when you open a jar for the first time, it makes this popping sound when the vacuum is filled with air? … and the extremely high sugar content stops the proliferation of bacteria (this is why historically sugar is used for food preservation – just like salt or vinegar). AND, my biggest argument: people in France and Belgium have been doing it like this forever and we’re perfectly fine :-)”

Leave it to the French to make amazing food and have a shortcut. I am so on board.

Sue’s Plum Chutney with Thai Chili and Lime is one example of no canning. Just boil the mixture, pour into jars, and invert. Done.

8. With the abundance of summer fruit, I hope to make jam with it.

Or put it into Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars

9. Ever wondered about seasoning a cast iron pan? The differences between seasoned, unseasoned/bare, enamel, and recommendations are discussed. Short ‘n sweet and very helpful.

10. Have you entered the Champion Sports Bras Giveaway?

What are your Thursday Things?

Feel free to link up anything fabulous you’ve made, done, seen, or bought.

Do you have a favorite flat iron? Favorite pastry bag and decorating tips? Favorite cast iron pan? Ever tried canning?

I want to hear about all that stuff!

56 comments on “Thursday Things”

  1. Oooh, I need to try both versions of hot pepper jelly, and you are right about google checking prices, I memorize labels and tags in stores and then look them up online and almost always find stuff so much cheaper.

  2. I always love the idea of piping pretty looking frosting on cupcakes, etc. but in reality, I hardly ever want to have one more item to wash. I have a Pampered Chef cake decorator which is basically a plastic tube with a plunger and various tips. It does wash up easier than a re- usable pastry bag and the frosting doesn’t stick to the sides. Maybe I would use it more if I didn’t keep shoving it to the back of the cabinet ( out of sight, out of mind)!!

  3. you are my guilty pleasures soul sister!! so glad to have stumbled across your blog!!! keep it coming! :)

  4. I’ve had a Sedu straightener for like 5 years and have never had an issue with it. It was about $120 at the time but has certainly been worth the money!

  5. Very interesting on the flat iron, maybe I’ll try that one when my Chi dies which probably won’t be long since I’ve killed two already dropping one and the switch breaking on another! Great list, lots of good canning info!

  6. The cookies with the pretzels on top look amazing!

  7. I knew the owners of Bake It Pretty from where I was living and they were amazing. They just sold it last year. :/

  8. Thanks for sharing this great tip about canning! I’ve been wanting to make my own preserves at home for the longest time but I didn’t have a pot large enough for submerging glass jars. I will definitely have to try just inverting the jars. If this technique is really hundreds of years old it must work, right?

    • And I only do about 4 jars at a time IF I do the water bath. I use a big pot that I bought at the grocery store for like 9.99 about 10 years ago. It works just fine :) But the stovetop method and then inverting them is my what I will be doing in the future, for the most part!

  9. I have crazy straight hair, so no flatiron. Spent much of the 80’s perming. Ugh. Grew out of that.
    I want a cast iron pan, but don’t have one. I also don’t decorate cupcakes much.

    But canning…yes. I grew up in rural PA and canned with my mom – vegetables, tomatoes, pickles, jams, jellies. Then I didn’t start up again until my 30’s. We probably only can one thing per year (kid and pesky full time jobs). In the last few years, it’s been: marinara sauce, salsa, strawberry jam, tangerine marmalade (we have a tree). I’ve always wanted to try pickles and relishes. Maybe this year. But with a new baby this summer, I’m betting more on a December tangerine marmalade.

  10. It is hard to believe that the year is moving so quickly but it looks like you had some tasty stuff for May … Can’t wait to see what’s coming next!

  11. Great article, that flat iron looks a lot like my Karmin G3 Salon Pro Styling Iron. It was such a good idea to invest in this professional flat iron! The plates are pure ceramic tourmaline and they go up to 460F so they work on all hair types. Great flat iron!

  12. I have a cast iron pan that I got for Christmas but I haven’t seasoned it yet. Haven’t used it!

  13. I am really impressed that you straighten your hair every day. Really, really impressed. You do a good job, too, because I had assumed it was naturally straight!

  14. Have been a subscriber but reading a lot of your posts just today. Enjoyed reading your ‘Thursday Things’. Seemed like a “news this week” kinda thing :D
    My hair is so obedient; I don’t use any hot iron or rollers, or any appliance on it. Not even a hair dryer. And may be it’s because of it – the appliances and any chemicals haven’t made it a brat, that’s why it obeys me :D
    I want to get those pastry bags and tips. May be will get some cheaper ones from Wilton or somewhere first to practice with. And I need an iron skillet, something long lasting than my nonstick cookware..

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